Worship Arts Center
I've had this growing though that we need to reclaim the arts for Christ.
It started about 15 years ago when I was working in a public school theatre program. It's stereotypical that you see some of the most 'anti-bilbical' stuff in the theatre program (even in a public high school), but definitely very true*. That is the 'obvious' place where we can see the need, and where we can see Satan trying to take over an entire part of creation.
However, as I was reviewing some emails from various performing arts publications recently I saw a new cable TV series called "Signature Performances" that was featuring a prominent jazz musician (and promising other prominent performers). Only when looking down the ad did I notice that this is a new series on the Scientology Network.
The performing arts are a powerful tool, and it is now clear that others who are not on the side of Christ are using this tool to promote their agenda.
Leaders in the local church need to be intentional about using the arts to both bring glory and honor to Christ but also understand that they can have huge influence in the lives of the culture.
We need performing arts leaders who are firmly rooted in scripture - not just a 5th-grade-Sunday-School faith - and are committed to developing a performing arts culture that is above reproach and focuses on reclaiming the arts as a beautiful (and powerful) gift of God for our use and enjoyment.
*BTW, I'm not saying that all Christians should leave the existing 'secular' performing arts. On the contrary, reclaiming the arts means also working to 'reclaim' those who are in the secular arts organizations and win them to Christ. To go there and love them enough to be IN their culture and help draw some out. But that's not been my calling - at least not specifcally and not now.
If you don't carefully study worship, and more specific - worship leading, you might think "worship is worship is worship". However, if you are a worship leader you do need to be a bit more specific in your understanding of worship. Just as the saying 'medicine is medicine is medicine' is not completely accurate, esp. if you are a doctor, so too is the statement about worship.
This past week we wrapped up a week of kids music camp. Before that I was directing a summer marching band. The week before that it was starting up our summer sports program. And before that it was planning for our scouting program.
I'm still amazed at how many 'worship ministers' (and church leadership teams) discount arts (and sports/activity) programs, thinking that they don't have a place within the church today. I must say ... these people are VERY short-sighted.